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It can't get any more competitive

The windows don't close on elite quarterbacks


Joe from Aurora, IL

Just saw the pictures of Mike Daniels at Comic-Con. Great to see him having so much fun and it's great to see the lighter side of him compared to what we're used to seeing on the field. My question is, are there any other players whose hobbies or interests seem to contradict their on-field personality?

I remember talking to Charles Woodson once about him starting piano lessons when he came to Green Bay.

Take a look at photos from the Packers 1K Kids Run, presented by Edvest. Photos by Kim Ippolito and Victoria McBryde,

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

When do you call the window closed for a SB winner to repeat with his team? Not yet for Brady, Rodgers and Wilson, yes for Brees and Eli. What about Flacco and Roethlisberger?

I'm not closing the window on any of those guys. The elite ones who have done it before are always capable of doing it again in my book. It's a quarterback-driven league.

Jeff from Cobb, WI

Observations: 1) Safetybacker is my new favorite term. 2) A guy named Sean-Luc from Oceanside, Calif., uses the term 'y'all'. I love this column!

Insider Inbox is like a box of chocolates.

Josh from Columbus, OH

Has a team ever lined up from the 15 to take an extra point and then attempted a fake field goal for two points? Is this even an option?

It's an option, but a pretty dumb one, and not just due to the 13 yards. If a team's fake-field-goal play is good enough, don't you run it when it would be worth six rather than just two?

Dano from Madison, WI

Call me an overly optimistic homer, but in my 50-plus years of watching the Packers, I think this is the deepest roster of quality players that I've ever seen. I rarely ever make predictions, but I think we are going to see some young defensive players blossom before our eyes this year. Am I delusional? Which is OK when you're a homer.

I prefer optimism to expectations. Success can still be enjoyed with the former, not so much with the latter.

Joe from Milwaukee, WI

Which undrafted or practice squad holdover player are you most excited to see?

One undrafted rookie we haven't seen yet is receiver Michael Clark, because he missed OTAs and minicamp due to injury, but at 6-6, 217, I'm curious. The practice-squad holdovers who have my interest are linebacker Reggie Gilbert and tight end Beau Sandland.

Check out fans and players taking their Lambeau leap as we celebrate #FanFriday. Photos by and AP.

Martin from Bonn, Germany

If I look at our secondary, I do not see many true playmakers/ball-hawks next to Clinton-Dix and I have been missing confidence and a certain swag with these guys. Is it the constant mix of packages/roles with many hybrid players that shifts focus away from the individual players towards the unit as a whole? Have we forgotten about the value of star players on defense?

Success comes before swagger. Randall had it as a rookie, lost it last year when he got hurt. House is back with something to prove. King and Jones will get their chances. It's a new year and a new mix.

Chris from Minneapolis, MN

Can Wes run the playograph for us this year?

There's an infinite number of playographs for every game nowadays. It's called the internet.

Daniel from Pittsburgh, PA

Are all of the people that were banned by Vic allowed back now?

Everyone has a clean slate with me. Well, almost everyone.

Al from Pasadena, CA

OK, here's my attempt to make the Insiders' HOF. We marvel at Rodgers' ability to avoid the rushers. My theory is that because he has large eyes he has better peripheral vision than normal which makes it seem he has eyes in the back of his head. Will this qualify me?

No, but nice try.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

Vic often bristled when readers accused him of being a "fan" of a particular team, his reaction suggesting that he believed his job required neutrality. Mike and Wes, on the other hand, seem nonplussed about mixing fandom with covering the Pack. Did either/both of you discuss this differing view with Vic? If so, how did the conversation go?

I never discussed it with him, but I don't consider myself a fan in the same sense y'all are fans. Do I want the Packers to win? Sure. I can feel that way because I work for the team and not for a newspaper anymore. But I still don't watch the game the way a fan does. I can't or I wouldn't be able to do my job well. This is an oversimplification, but fans react, reporters analyze. I can't be reactionary or my analysis isn't worth much. But from where I sit, this job is a lot more fun when the Packers win, ergo, I hope they do.

Jon from Warsaw, IN

Why does it feel like some supposedly "neutral" sportscasters go on a mission to dis a particular team, coach or player? Or all of the above? And then like a bunch of rabid gossipers on Facebook, the entire media world on every channel takes it up? Is there no integrity left?

Media covering the media has become its own industry. It doesn't interest me, but there's no going back now.

Omar from Baltimore, MD

Years ago I asked Vic about the transition from paper to digital media, but my question for Spoff is, since you moved to before Vic, has there been a significant increase in traffic along with the rise of smartphones, or did Vic take credit for that?

With the Jaguars, Vic entered the purely digital world before I did, but his arrival in Green Bay coincided with a sea change in the content of, with the blessing of management. My first five years here, we didn't answer fan questions (whether via "Ask Vic" or live chats), nor write editorials, produce our own game-preview videos or WYMM segments, have a comments section, etc. Now, our operation has exploded, and our staff has grown in all areas as a result. It's been a blast to be part of the entire evolution. As for your traffic question, a couple of years ago, we hit the point where half of our page/video views came from mobile devices, and the balance vs. desktop has continued to skew mobile/app since. It's a lot to manage, and we try to have fun doing it.

Bill from Staten Island, NY

The NFL headlines on all sorts of sites have been full of suspension news in the past week. This includes news of Allison's suspension for one week. Does the NFL conduct tests during the OTAs and the results just now come in? I wonder about this because you can mark your calendar by NFL suspension announcements in mid-July. What's the timing on all this?

I think the timing has to do with all appeals on suspensions being heard and adjudicated. Once they're all done, the league announces the final decisions en masse.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Mike, I am actually confident in our RB situation, even without them putting on the pads yet. With Ty and Rip established I think these young guys are hungry and have proven themselves in college. How confident are you?

At a young man's position, I think stocking up on draft picks and seeing who emerges will prove to be a wise approach. The Packers couldn't have set it up to be any more competitive.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

Heaven forbid if AR went down for any amount of time. Is Hundley ready?

No way to know until he's called upon. No offense to Hundley, but your question is one you don't want to have to answer.

Nick from Chicago, IL

Wes is such a troll...I love it! On a football note, do we know who the Packers will play against in their throwbacks?

Haven't heard yet, but I'll keep an ear out.

Dale from Kettering, OH

How long are the "unscouted looks" in the pipeline before Coach McCarthy decides they can be used in a game?

The entire playbook for the season is installed in OTAs and training camp. Then it comes down to what's put in the game plan for a given week and practiced for that particular game. There are things they work on in training camp that they might not practice again for a few months. And just because it's in a game plan doesn't mean it gets called on Sunday. It's a week-to-week deal.

Tyler from Vacaville, CA

Insiders, after last season the Packers-Bears series is finally tied at 94-94-6. The Packers lead in Super Bowl championships (4-1) and it's likely a Rodgers-led Packers team will continue stacking wins against them. The last thing to put the Bears in the rearview mirror is with Hall Of Famers. As credited on the HOF website by franchise, the Bears have 32 and the Packers have 29. Playing the game of who gets in, I could see the Bears adding Urlacher and Jared Allen to their list to get to 34. Meanwhile, the Packers could add Woodson, Rodgers, McCarthy, and Peppers? Plus, some longshots like Kramer and Butler. Do you foresee the Packers ever passing the Bears to take this record as well?

Going by "primary" Hall of Famers, the Bears have 27 and the Packers 24. Allen and Peppers won't count either way. I think Devin Hester gets in along with Urlacher, so Woodson and Rodgers keep the gap at three. I think another Super Bowl gets McCarthy in. Will Mike Holmgren get in someday? Butler is a possibility, too, and Kramer is at the top of everyone's snub list. Jay Hilgenberg is an oft-mentioned snub in Chicago, with his seven straight Pro Bowls. It'll be tough to catch up, but it's possible.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Guys, what's with some of the fans raving about these rookies? I am in favor of the wait-and-see attitude. Or do they want to be able to say "I was the first to know he was going to be a star"?

Everyone loves predictions – making them, hearing them, discussing them. Are you not entertained?

Ryan from Dubuque, IA

Your response to Derek from Eau Claire has me pretty irritated. Why would you not try to tie the game? I don't care if it's the first quarter, I'm going for two. A field goal puts you ahead either way. You'd look pretty stupid if you kicked the extra point and neither team scored the rest of the game.

I'm with Wes on this one, though I lean more toward the 10-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Chasing those points early is a fool's errand with so many possessions left in a game. Down two points in the first half? If you want to look stupid, go for two, don't get it, give up a TD late in the third quarter and now you're down two scores. That's one of many reasons the timing matters.

Ryan from Somerset, WI

What is the longest timed drive in NFL history?

It's not hard to find with some quick research, but I posted this because until looking into it, I never knew that the three longest timed drives in league history produced a measly three total points, and that one of the most memorable controversies from my childhood made the list. First, the record – Thanksgiving Day, 1997, the Tennessee Oilers started on their own 9, went 90 yards in 21 plays, consumed 13:27, and kicked a 19-yard field goal at Dallas. Next is the Giants, who went 53 yards in 19 plays to kill the final 12:53 of the 2000 NFC title game against the Vikings without scoring. Then, my favorite. In December 1982, the Patriots went 79 yards in 19 plays over 12:42 against the Dolphins and missed a short field goal in the second quarter. No wonder they brought out the snow plow in the fourth.

Dan from Denton, TX

We will be hitting 6K miles on our July trip from Texas via Cali when we get to our first-ever training camp on Thursday. I hauled my son's bike in hopes he gets a player to ride it, but I have yet to see any information on where he should go, time to be there, etc. Can you help?

I'm no expert on the protocol, but I see kids lining up with their bikes anywhere from 45-60 minutes or more before practice. You'll see where all the action is. It's impossible to miss. Safe travels, and enjoy the weekend, everybody.

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